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reverse-engineer

[ri-vurs-en-juh-neer] /rɪˈvɜrs ɛn dʒəˈnɪər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to study or analyze (a device, as a microchip for computers) in order to learn details of design, construction, and operation, perhaps to produce a copy or an improved version.
Related forms
reverse engineering, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Contemporary definitions for reverse engineering
verb

to analyze a product to try to figure out its components, construction, and inner workings, often with the intent of creating something similar; also written reverse engineer

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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reverse engineering in Technology

system, product, design
The process of analysing an existing system to identify its components and their interrelationships and create representations of the system in another form or at a higher level of abstraction. Reverse engineering is usually undertaken in order to redesign the system for better maintainability or to produce a copy of a system without access to the design from which it was originally produced.
For example, one might take the executable code of a computer program, run it to study how it behaved with different input and then attempt to write a program oneself which behaved identically (or better). An integrated circuit might also be reverse engineered by an unscrupulous company wishing to make unlicensed copies of a popular chip.
(1995-10-06)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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